New Zealand Opens Consultation for Block Offer 2017

New Zealand Petroleum & Minierals (NZPM) reported Monday that Minister of Energy and Resources Simon Bridges has opened consultation with the country's indigenous Maori group and local authorities on Block Offer 2017.

The consultation will take place on 2 proposed onshore block areas, 1 proposed onshore/nearshore block area, and 4 proposed offshore block areas, covering a total area of around 196,407 square miles (508,691 square kilometers).

The proposal covers:

  • Offshore Northland-Reinga basins (58,134 square miles or 150,566 square kilometers)
  • Onshore Taranaki Basin (480 square miles or 1,242 square kilometers)
  • Onshore/nearshore Northern Taranaki Basin (570 square miles or 1,475 square kilometers)
  • Offshore Taranaki Basin (25,088 square miles or 64,978 square kilometers)
  • Offshore Pegasus and East Coast North Island Basins (29,027 square miles or 75,180 square kilometers)
  • Offshore Canterbury-Great South Basin (81,423 square miles or 210,884 square kilometers)
  • Onshore Southland (1,686 square miles or 4,366 square kilometers)

NZ&P said the consultation is intended to identify areas of sensitivity or significance that the Minister needs to be aware of, including sites that might need to be protected for their cultural, social or spiritual significance. The tribes can ask the Minister through consultation to remove these blocks or areas within blocks, or put conditions on any permits over certain areas to protect them.

Meanwhile, NZ&P is seeking the views of the public through consultation from Oct. 17 to Nov. 18 with local authorities. This allows us to gain a better understanding of community views and any relevant regional issues (such as restrictions on drilling in the district plan).

When the consultation is completed, NZP&M will provide advice to the Minister who will then decide on the final blocks to be released for tender March 2017.

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